ASground riding surface - the material
We have been riding on sand surfaces for centuries. But there are real alternatives with the invention of various synthetics. These synthetics have become a natural component of everyday life, just think of T-shirts, poly-pockets or carpets.
But can we get used to a riding surface made of an artificially produced material?
Sand, in fact, ist not the best material
„When introducing our riding surface material initial reactions are usually sceptical”, says Bodo Klopsch, who has already built some 3.000 riding arenas throughout Europe. “But everyone is delighted once the arena is ready for use.”
Civil engineer Klopsch learned through complex studies that sand is not an ideal material for all-season riding surfaces. By that time his 11-year-old daughter complained regularly about her riding arena that either was flooded, dusty, or frozen.
Being a good father, Klopsch searched and realized sand had more than just one property that made it unsuitable for riding surfaces. In the long term friction caused by the hooves turns sand into dust. Dust, however, does not only obstruct the sensitive lungs of rider and horse, but also turns into mud when wet. Mud then obstructs the free pores of the sand and its substructure – the origin of puddles. In addition, rain makes the sand grains move to a so-called space-saving structure, i.e. the narrowest possible position to each other. As a result, the sand grains cannot move any more, the surface now is as hard as a rock, water no longer drains away.
No puddles, no frost, no dust
The ASground® synthetic carpet flakes by contrast do not change. Water passes through the top layer into the gravel layer underneath and from there it trickles either into the natural soil or away from the riding arena into the neighboring area. No water stands and so no puddles form.
„The surface layer we use absorbs a maximum of 7 to 8 percent of water. This is not enough to make it freeze as a whole”, Bodo Klopsch explains another ASground® advantage.
The synthetic material does not rub off und thus cannot become dusty. It is not hygroscopic, which means it does not absorb water or freeze. And it does not rot away. Rainy spring and fall, hot and dry summer or frosty winter – no matter, you will enjoy your ASground® 365 days a year …
Less maintenance, more durability
The grainy texture of sand is the reason for another undesirable characteristic: sand shifts when hit by weight – and thus wears out the track. Dry sand gets “bottomless”, we know this effect from arduous walking in dunes.
ASground® compresses when hit by the horse’s weight and returns to its original shape afterwards. It doesn’t change texture but preserves the elasticity of the surface and, in addition, makes it very durable. ASground® does not degrade, neither does it rot away. The need for a new surface every few years will be in the past.
Improves the horse's elasticity and dynamic impulsion
Heavy use actually improves an ASground® riding arena. The material settles, the fibers intertwine and finally build a firm but elastic surface. The track doesn’t wear out. The horses easily develop impulsion and dynamics, whilst training on this surface is very gentle on tendons and joints (> want to undertake a study within your diploma thesis, e.g.?) no matter whether you are riding dressage or show jumping, lunging, vaulting or riding western style.
Even drivers like ASground® since its rough surface slightly slows down the carriage, preventing it from running into the horses.
Compared to sand, synthetic materials have many characteristics which we can take to our advantage to build an all-season riding arena. This material also meets all environmental requirements.
We use polypropylene for this riding arena covering, a natural in origin petroleum product.
Its structure is resistant to heat and especially resistant to water.
The car industry uses this material for vehicle carpets. We work on the remains - That is how the famous "carpet snippets" are created.
Report of the Eurofins Environment Germany:
ASground riding covering is harmless.
Our ASground riding arena ground is repeatedly certified safety in regard to soil and drinking water protection.